Golf Talk Live - Karrie Webb Transcript Segment 4
AS WE TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR FIRST MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP WIN, THE 66'S ON THE WEEKEND, BIRDYING FOUR OF THE LAST FIVE HOLES, WHICH I GUESS WAS A GOOD WAY TO SILENCE THE CRITICS WHO SAID, YOU KNOW, 'BEST PLAYER TO NEVER TO DO IT', WHAT A WAY TO DO IT,
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE FASCINATING PROBLEM OF PEAKING FOUR TIMES A YEAR FOR THE MAJORS?
UM, IT IS - IT'S - IT'S HARD TO WIN ANY GOLF TOURNAMENT AND THEN WHEN PEOPLE PUT SO MUCH FOCUS ON THE MAJORS UM, IT'S HARD TO - TO GET - TO GET UP AND TO . I MEAN, IT'S NOT HARD TO GET UP, BUT IT'S HARD TO - TO HAVE YOUR GAME RIGHT WHERE YOU WANT IT AT THE RIGHT TIME.
BUT AS CONSISTENT AS YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, DO YOU REALLY SEE THAT AS ANY KIND OF A PROBLEM?
UM, WELL I TEND TO, YOU KNOW, I - I REALLY DO GET UP FOR THE MAJORS AND - AND I LOVE HOW IT'S JUST THAT - JUST THAT LITTLE BIT MORE DIFFERENT ATMOSPHERE AND EVERYONE'S JUST THAT LITTLE BIT MORE TENSE. AND .
I'M ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT IN THE PAST HAVE MADE MYSELF, YOU KNOW, JUST TOO - TOO OVERLY CONCERNED ABOUT WINNING MAJORS. AND I THINK UM, EVEN AT THE START OF THE DU MAURIER UH, YOU KNOW, I WAS ONE-OVER THROUGH TWO ROUNDS AND REALLY UM,
WITH, I FELT, LIKE NOT MUCH OF A SHOT TO WIN THE TOURNAMENT AND SHOOTING 66 ON SATURDAY PUT ME RIGHT IN THERE. UM, BUT UH, YOU KNOW, IT TOOK THAT AND THEN ANOTHER 66 TO WIN MY FIRST MAJOR. THAT, YOU KNOW, GOING TO DINAH SHORE,
THE NABISCO CHAMPIONSHIP THIS YEAR UM, REALLY UM, YOU KNOW, TOOK THE PRESSURE OFF ME BECAUSE I - I HAD ALREADY WON A MAJOR. IF I HAD GONE INTO THE FIRST MAJOR OF THE YEAR THIS YEAR WITH THE START THAT I HAVE, WITHOUT WINNING A MAJOR,
I MEAN, THAT'S ALL THEY WOULD HAVE TALKED ABOUT TO EVERYONE FOR THE WHOLE WEEK.
A LOT OF THESE SHOTS THAT WE'RE LOOKING AT, I MEAN, NOBODY WOULD ASK YOU TO PUTT WHAT'S LEFT. TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE YOUR INCREDIBLE DISTANCE CONTROL RIGHT NOW?
UM, JUST PLENTY OF PRACTICE, I THINK, UH, AND JUST KNOWING MY GAME AND KNOWING THE SHOTS THAT I CAN PLAY. AND - AND ALSO, YOU KNOW, EVAN HAS WORKED FOR ME FOR FOUR YEARS NOW AND UH, YOU KNOW, HE PRETTY MUCH .
HE CAN - HE CAN SENSE HOW I'M HITTING IT AND - AND WHAT I FEEL LIKE I WANT TO PLAY. AND UH, YOU KNOW, IT'S - IT'S GOOD TO HAVE SOMEONE THAT KNOWS YOUR GAME THAT WELL ON THE BAG.
TELL US ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTION THAT HE'S MADE. YOU KNOW, HE'S ONE OF THE GUYS THAT WE DON'T HEAR MUCH ABOUT, BUT HE'S WITH THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD, AND HAS BEEN, AS YOU WERE BECOMING THE BEST PLAYER. HOW IMPORTANT IS HE TO YOU?
HE - HE'S VERY IMPORTANT. AND - AND TO ME UM, WHAT'S THE - WHAT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS, IS THAT HE'S ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS. AND UH, YOU KNOW, WE'VE BEEN THROUGH SO MUCH TOGETHER IN - IN FOUR YEARS.
AND UM, THE FACT THAT, YOU KNOW, SOMEONE THAT WORKS FOR ME THAT - THAT CLOSELY AND THAT MANY HOURS IN A DAY, I CAN CALL ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS, I THINK - I THINK THAT'S WHY IT WORKS. UM, EVAN'S A HARD WORKER
AND - AND KNOWS WHAT HE DOES VERY WELL. BUT UM, THE FACT THAT UM, YOU KNOW, WE CAN TALK ABOUT OTHER STUFF DOWN THE FAIRWAY UM, AND JUST BE FRIENDS UM, AND - AND I CAN GO OFF AT HIM UH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROUND AND - AND UH .
YOU KNOW, HE - HE MIGHT TAKE IT TOO HARD A LITTLE BIT OUT ON THE COURSE BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, HE KNOWS I DIDN'T MEAN IT.
YEAH, BECAUSE YOU ALWAYS CRY AFTERWARDS AND SAY 'I WAS SO MEAN TO YOU.' I'VE SEEN YOU DO THAT ROUTINE.
ARE YOU STARTING TO TAKE A LOOK AT SORT OF 'WHO'S GOT WHICH MAJORS AND HOW MANY?' WE'VE GOT A LITTLE GRAPHIC. HAVE YOU BEEN STARTING TO THINK ABOUT NUMBERS AT ALL OR DO YOU TRY TO IGNORE THAT AND WILL TOTAL THEM UP IN TEN YEARS?
PATTY BERG 16
MICKEY WRIGHT 13
LOUISE SUGGS 12
BABE ZAHARIAS 11
BETSY RAWLS 8
JULI INKSTER 8 )
NOW WE ADDED ALL - WE ADDED THE U.S. AMATEUR TITLES TO THE PRO WINS OF THE PEOPLE THAT YOU SEE THERE.
WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?
WELL, THERE ARE - HOW MANY PEOPLE? SIX PEOPLE THERE, I MEAN, SIX HALL OF FAMERS AND SIX UNBELIEVABLE PLAYERS. UH, YOU KNOW, UH, IT'S GONNA TAKE A LOT FOR ME TO EVEN GET CLOSE TO THOSE NUMBERS, I THINK.
YOU'VE GOT BACK-TO-BACK MAJORS RIGHT NOW, IF YOU WIN TWO MORE IN A ROW. IS THERE ANY REASON TO THINK THAT YOU HAVEN'T WON THE SLAM IF YOU HOLD ALL FOUR EVEN THOUGH THERE'D BE A CALENDAR OVERLAP?
UM, WELL I - UH, I'M SURE THAT WILL BE TALKED ABOUT. BUT UH . UH, YOU KNOW, I THINK UH, IT - IT IS SO HARD TO - I MEAN, I WON TWO IN A ROW UM, GOING BACK TO DU MAURIER LAST YEAR.
BUT IT IS SO HARD TO - TO PEAK AT THE RIGHT TIME, LIKE I SAID. AND - AND JUST TO WIN A GOLF TOURNAMENT, YOU CAN PLAY YOUR VERY BEST GOLF, BUT SOMEONE COULD PLAY BETTER THAN YOU THAT WEEK AND - AND YOU END UP FINISHING SECOND.
UM, AND - AND WITH MAJORS, YOU HAVE TO LIKE ALL FOUR GOLF COURSES. SO UM, I'M - I'M NOT SAYING THAT I CAN'T WIN THE NEXT TWO MAJORS, BUT YOU JUST NEVER KNOW.
WHEN WE COME BACK, WE'LL SEE A REALLY BORING MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP THAT WAS OVER ON FRIDAY MORNING. SHE TOOK ALL THE SUSPENSE OUT OF IT. WE'LL TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE TEN-SHOT WIN AND THE DIVE AT THE NABISCO.
DJ: Kapalua win means nothing for Abu Dhabi
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Dustin Johnson's recent victory in Hawaii doesn't mean much when it comes to this week's tournament.
The top-ranked American will play at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship for the second straight year. But this time he is coming off a victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which he won by eight shots.
''That was two weeks ago. So it really doesn't matter what I did there,'' said Johnson, who finished runner-up to Tommy Fleetwood in Abu Dhabi last year. ''This is a completely new week and everybody starts at even par and so I've got to start over again.''
In 2017, the long-hitting Johnson put himself in contention despite only making one eagle and no birdies on the four par-5s over the first three rounds.
''The par 5s here, they are not real easy because they are fairly long, but dependent on the wind, I can reach them if I hit good tee balls,'' the 2016 U.S. Open champion said. ''Obviously, I'd like to play them a little better this year.''
The tournament will see the return of Paul Casey as a full member of the European Tour after being away for three years.
''It's really cool to be back. What do they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder? Quite cheesy, but no, really, really cool,'' said the 40-year-old Englishman, who is now ranked 14th in the world. ''When I was back at the Open Championship at Birkdale, just the reception there, playing in front of a home crowd, I knew this is something I just miss.''
The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship starts Thursday and also features former No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who is making a comeback after more than three months off.
Kuchar joins European Tour as affiliate member
Months after he nearly captured the claret jug, Matt Kuchar has made plans to play a bit more golf in Europe in 2018.
Kuchar is in the field this week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told reporters in advance of the opening round that he has opted to join the European Tour as an affiliate member:
Matt Kuchar— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) January 17, 2018
"It's been a passion of mine to explore & see the world, and I'll now be joining the European Tour as an Affiliate Member, which is very exciting." pic.twitter.com/7wDbuGXz8j
As an affiliate member, Kuchar will not have a required minimum number of starts to make. It's the same membership status claimed last year by Kevin Na and Jon Rahm, the latter of whom then became a full member and won two European Tour events in 2017.
Kuchar made six European Tour starts last year, including his runner-up performance at The Open. He finished T-4 at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in his lone European Tour start that wasn't co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour.
Hot Seat: Rory jumps into the fire early
The world’s top tours head to desert regions this week, perfect locales for The Hot Seat, the gauge upon which we measure the level of heat the game’s top personalities are facing ...
Sahara sizzle: Rory McIlroy
McIlroy won’t have to look far to see how his form measures up to world No. 1 Dustin Johnson at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
McIlroy will make his 2018 debut with Johnson in his face, literally.
McIlroy will be grouped with Johnson and Tommy Fleetwood in the first two rounds.
Players like to downplay pairings early in a tournament, but it’s hard to believe McIlroy and Johnson won’t be trying to send each other messages in this European Tour event in the United Arab Emirates. That’s the alpha-dog nature of world-class players looking to protect their turf, or in the case of McIlroy, take back his turf.
“When you are at the elite level, you are always trying to send a message,” Trevor Immelman said about pairings during Tiger Woods’ return at the Hero World Challenge last month.
And that was an offseason event.
“They want to show this guy, ‘This is what I got,’” Immelman said.
As early season matchups go, Abu Dhabi is a heavyweight pairing that ought to be fun.
So there will be no easing into the new year for McIlroy after taking off the last three months to regroup from the stubborn rib injury that plagued him last season. He is coming off a winless year, and he will be doing so alongside a guy who just won the first PGA Tour event of 2018 in an eight-shot rout. Johnson’s victory in Hawaii two weeks ago was his fifth since McIlroy last won.
“Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place, and that was because of where I was physically,” McIlroy said of 2017. “I feel prepared now. I feel ready, and I feel ready to challenge. I feel really good about where I’m at with my health. I’ve put all that behind me, which has been great.”
Sonoran Smolder: Phil Mickelson
Mickelson will turn 48 this summer.
His world ranking is sliding, down to No. 43 now, which is the lowest he has ranked in 24 years.
It’s been more than four years since he last won, making him 0 for his last 92 starts.
There’s motivation in all of that for Mickelson. He makes his 2018 debut at the CareerBuilder Challenge in the Palm Springs area this week talking like a man on a renewed mission.
There’s a Ryder Cup team to make this season, which would be his 12th straight, and there’s a career Grand Slam to claim, with the U.S. Open returning to Shinnecock Hills, where Mickelson finished second in ’04.
While Mickelson may not feel old, there are so many young stars standing in his way that it’s hard not to be constantly reminded that time isn’t on his side in these events anymore.
There has only been one player in the history of the game to win a major championship who was older than Mickelson is right now. Julius Boros won the PGA Championship when he was 48 back in 1968.
Campaign fever: Jordan Spieth
Spieth’s respect in the game’s ranks extends outside the ropes.
He was just selected to run for the PGA Tour Player Advisory Council’s chairman position. He is facing Billy Hurley III in an election to see who will succeed Davis Love III on the Tour’s Policy Board next year.
Spieth, just 24, has already made Time Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People.” He made that back in 2016, with the magazine writing that “he exemplifies everything that’s great about sports.” Sounds like a campaign slogan.
CareerBuilder Challenge: Tee times, TV schedule, stats
The PGA Tour shifts from Hawaii to Southern California for the second full-field event of the year. Here are the key stats and information for the CareerBuilder Challenge. Click here for full-field tee times.
How to watch (all rounds on Golf Channel):
Thursday, Rd. 1: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Friday, Rd. 2: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Saturday, Rd. 3: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Sunday, Rd. 4: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Purse: $5.9 million ($1,062,000 to winner)
Courses: PGA West, Stadium Course, La Quinta, Calif. (72-7,113); PGA West, Nicklaus Tournament Course, La Quinta, Calif. (72-7,159); La Quinta Country Club, La Quinta, Calif. (72-7,060) NOTE: All three courses will be used for the first three rounds but only the Stadium Course will be used for the final round.
Defending champion: Hudson Swafford (-20) - defeated Adam Hadwin by one stroke to earn his first PGA Tour win.
Notables in the field
* This is his first start of 2018. It's the fourth consecutive year he has made this event the first one on his yearly calendar.
* For the second year in a row he will serve as the tournament's official ambassador.
* He has won this event twice - in 2002 and 2004.
* This will be his 97th worldwide start since his most recent win, The Open in 2013.
* Ranked No. 3 in the world, he finished runner-up in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
* In 37 worldwide starts as a pro, he has 14 top-5 finishes.
* Last year he finished T-34 in this event.
* Last year in the third round, he shot 59 at La Quinta Country Club. It was the ninth - and still most recent - sub-60 round on Tour.
* In his only start of 2018, the Canadian finished 32nd in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
* Only player on the PGA Tour with five top-10 finishes this season.
* Ranks fifth in greens in regulation this season.
* Finished third in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and T-4 in the Sony Open in Hawaii.
* Making only his third worldwide start since last June at the Travelers Championship. He has been recovering from a chest injury.
* This is his first start since he withdrew from the Indonesian Masters in December because of heat exhaustion.
* Hasn't played in this event since missing the cut in 2015.
* Earned his first career victory in this event in 2014, shooting three consecutive rounds of 63.
* This is his first start of 2018.
* Last season finished seventh in strokes gained: putting, the best ranking of his career.
(Stats provided by the Golf Channel editorial research unit.)